There's a lot of awkward silence to fill during Fashion Week. Showgoers, crammed butt to butt with people they (a) used to work for or (b) directly compete with, need a good supply of universally interesting topics to dissect while waiting for shows to start — something neutral yet titillating. Fortunately for them (if not for the subjects), there's been a lot of meaty news: seismic personnel changes at a major retailer, the teetering business of a former wunderkind, some still-to-be-proven designer-business mashups, and the arrival of a tall, blond, exquisitely beautiful new model. Who is a guy.
The new editor of Vogue France will be doing her first Fashion Week as the big kahuna. According to interviews, Alt wants a friendlier, more real look in the magazine. Does that mean no more of the S&M, nudity, and cigarettes so beloved of her smoky-eyed predecessor? And was Carine nudged out because she didn't shoot enough of the powerful luxury conglomerate LVMH's products?
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Zac Posen: Make or Break?
Last season's show got terrible reviews. In the interim, he reshuffled his company (his mom is out, he's not doing the Z Spoke high-end line), and he's showing in Paris rather than New York. Could this be a last-ditch effort for the former wunderkind to simplify and survive?
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Christophe Lemaire: Right for Hermès?
He boosted the perception of the populist Lacoste almost into Y-3 territory, but now Lemaire's been handed the revered, adored French company that stands for everything good about Gallic luxury (and he replaced the very popular but commercially unsuccessful Jean Paul Gaultier). Obviously Hermès wants in on the ready-to-wear business, but is Lemaire enough of a designer to make something exciting?
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The Androgynous Andrej Pejic
He's an interesting man/woman, this one. He's from a tiny village in Bosnia, he reads Marx, and he's exquisitely beautiful. But will American designers have the moxie to cast him? And if he walks in an otherwise all-female show, will he be paid by that scale or the lower male model rates?
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The New Barneys Crew
Movements of the new team at Barneys (from left: CEO Mark Lee, chief women's merchant Daniella Vitale, creative director Dennis Freedman, and fashion director Amanda Brooks) will be closely tracked this week as the fashion crew tries to divine more details of the retailer's future.
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The Old Barneys Crew
There's tremendous affection for former fashion director Julie Gilhart and chief merchant Judy Collinson, as well as for Simon Doonan, now sidelined as Barneys "ambassador at large." Doonan's such an industry that his Barneys affiliation is almost secondary, but any sightings of Gilhart and Collinson will be parsed for clues as to their next steps.
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The Theyskens/Theory Partnership
Dude couldn't be more talented, his work at Rochas and Nina Ricci was game-changing, and he's got a lot of industry love. So why can't Olivier Theyskens keep a job? And is doing an "affordable" line the way to go, or is he dumbing down to get a paycheck? We say not: Theory's become a very interesting little incubator recently, with a new CEO and a project with Proenza Schouler in the works, and the Theyskens' stuff looks smart.
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Fashion Masthead Shuffles
There are always a few of these to chat about. Michael Carl (left) went to Vanity Fair from Allure, while Treena Lombardo (right) went to Allure from W. But Anne Christensen's move from the edgy, intellectual T to the mainstream pages of Glamour will provoke the most speculation. Will there be nipples?
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Young New Model to Watch
Arizona Muse (yes, that is her real name) opened and closed for Prada, opened for Yves Saint Laurent and Chloé, just did a spread in Chinese Vogue AND got the Prada and YSL ad campaigns. And she's got a 2-year-old son. And Anna Wintour loves her.
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Slightly Older New Model to Watch
Bless you for not being 15, Saskia de Brauw. The fact that she's 29 years old and looks THAT good shows that models can finish high school and still have a career. Recently, hers has included the Givenchy spring 2011 show and its spring campaign. This week, you'll see her at New York's edgier shows like Rodarte, Marc Jacobs, and Ohne Titel.
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The Mini-Industry That Is BryanBoy
The blogger is reportedly shooting a pilot during Fashion Week with the producers of America's Next Top Model that Bravo is supposedly very interested in.
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Courtney: We Love Her Again
Eric Wilson's "Style" section story reclassified her from "scary-crazy" to "kooky interesting"; this, plus her blog, What Courtney Wore, and the fact that she looks pretty good right now make her a potential muse for some young designer who spent his adolescence listening to Celebrity Skin.
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Rumer Willis, Model?
The child of Hollywood royalty looked pretty good in Badgely Mischka's ad campaign, and it certainly got them some welcome buzz, but is she really a model? However, the possibility of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis showing up to cheer their offspring makes her a tempting runway prospect for publicity-hungry designers.